Düren/Kerpen – For some months, increasingly proposals are made to start up an arbitration procedure to the protests in the Hambach Forest. In particular, the Greens of Düren endeavor for mediation in the style of Stuttgart 21. In it should participate among others activists and RWE. Among the activists predominantly critical voices can be heard on the subject
One of their points is that for RWE the central demands of the protests – to stop the lignite mining and the further deforestation of the Hambach Forest – are not open for discussion. In a statement of some activists also can be read that there was no equality, because both sides “had different possibilities in terms of resources such as time, money, public perception”.
Furthermore, that the forest occupation is an open structure in which the people act on their own responsibility and that a consensus on actions therefore could not be achieved. So a group of activists who would choose to participate in an arbitration procedure, could not speak for all the squatters nor implement agreements that would be taken in an arbitration procedure.
For almost four years, the Hambach Forest near Cologne is occupied. It has been almost completely deforested in favor of the lignite mine of Hambach. The squatters want to defend it with their activity, both against further deforestation, as well as against the lignite mine itself.
During the past months the conflict between RWE and the activists escalated more and more. The escalation found a sad climax in an assassination attempt by an RWE security guard to a group of activists. On the afternoon of January 21, 2016, he drove a jeep at high speed towards the group, striking some people. An activist, who was injured by him and so could not get away anymore, was arrested and found himself in remand until February 19.
More: Security guard strikes activists with his jeep
Anna Schuster, press speaker of the forest and meadow occupation in the Hambach Forest
More information at: hambachforest.blogsport.de